In October, 2019, California Extended The Statute of Limitations for Childhood Sexual Abuse to Age 40 or within 5 years of the Discovery of the Abuse and/or Damages Associated with your Abuse, whichever is Later.
California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 218 into law. The bill, which went into effect on January 1, 2020, brought about several key changes that greatly expand the rights of child sexual abuse victims. However the three-year window this bill opened is now closed as of 12.31.22.
Key changes under California AB 218 included:
- Expanded statute of limitations: AB 218 increased the amount of time for victims to file civil lawsuits against abusers and/or entities which failed to prevent their abuse. Now, abuse victims can bring civil claims until the age of 40, or within 5 years of their discovery of the abuse and/or damages associated with their abuse, whichever is later.
- This Revival Window has NOW expired: The Window Closed 12/31/22. Three-year revival window: AB 218 created a three-year revival window for adult victims who were abused as minors to file civil sexual abuse lawsuits that were previously barred by the statute of limitations.
- Treble damages: In cases where defendants willfully concealed or covered up sexual abuse, California AB 218 allows victims to be awarded triple the damages.
Why AB 218 Still Matters for Sexual Abuse Survivors in California
- California AB 218 amends Sections 340.1 and 1002 of the California Code of Civil Procedure and Section 905 of the Government Code. It is viewed as a major victory for survivors of child sexual abuse, and mirrors similar legislation being passed in states across the country, such as the New York Child Victims Act. New York however, offers older survivors more opportunity to seek justice.
- In an era when survivors have more support than ever before, the amendments encourage victims to step forward with their claims, and provide a greater sense of justice when it comes to holding institutions and organizations accountable for their failures, deceit, and concealment of abuse.
- Per AB 218, any institution or individual who makes “a concerted effort to hide evidence relating to childhood sexual assault” can be compelled to pay three times the amount of actual damages.
Survivors Can Still Seek Justice in California!
Don’t wait, before it’s too late.
Survivors can seek justice, depending on your age, and date of discovery of the abuse and/or damages associated with the abuse in California. But taking action now, is better than waiting.
Know this. . .
Roar as One is fighting for the Elimination of All Civil Statutes of Limitations for Child Sexual Abuse in California
Statutes of limitations only serve to protect perpetrator’s while punishing their victims. Why should survivors be re-victimized by laws that bar their claims and cause them to run out of time to report abuse. This is especially important for abuse survivors, as many struggle for years before they are able to come forward, or even remember their abuse, and critically important to protecting communities, and institutions, from known abusers, the majority of whom go on to re-offend for years when left unpunished.